Phil and I started off towards the ferry at Needles on DH2 (which I actually
prefer to DH1). After 30 km we arrived at the Spruce Grove Cafe where we thought
they would dispense fuel but they didn’t, so we had to ride 30 km back to
Cherryville to fill up. Not such an onerous task on DH2!
left Cherryville for the second time, again heading for Needles. The perfect day
for riding: sunny, dry and no STC’s. Traffic was light; some of the 4 wheel
variety but mostly just those pesky Harley Davidson Baby Boomers jiggling their
way up the road to the next Starbucks.
Monashee Pass there are a few straight stretches that are long enough to red
line the VFR in 6th gear, a first for me. Phil was able to get 6800 rpm in 5th
and since his red line’s 7000, he was pretty chuffed because he was
worried about being down 20 psi compression on his right cylinder.
arrived at Needles and were in the ferry line with some of those same HDBB’s
(Harley Davidson Baby Boomers) we had seen at the Spruce Grove Café before we
turned around for fuel. They must have stopped to admire the view more than us.
an uneventful ride to Nakusp, we had lunch with some of the BMOC boys and then
headed back to the ferry. There were about 10 bikes on the ferry; some Asian,
some Teutonic, some Nortons, 3 Guzzi’s, and a 02 Daytona 955i. A couple of
minutes before we arrive at the other side Phil says, “Well, we should see who
wants to play. But you lead off because I don’t want to do anything too
silly!” And that folks, is why we
call him Mr. Moderation.
soon as we were waved off the ferry we did what every BC biker does when he
comes off any BC ferry; launched out of there like we hadn’t seen a piece of
dry pavement in 6 months. There are a couple of straights before you get to
Monashee Pass so I kept the VFR at 190+ which is just a little faster than
Phil’s Guzzi will go. I knew when we reached the pass that he would want to be
breathing down my tailpipe and I wanted a bit of space between us.
Pretty soon I see a light coming from behind and it is coming fast. Tom, on the
955i Daytona, passed me doing about 250k. Then he eased off a bit. I figured
he’s a local guy from Vernon so I’ll follow him for a while. We were doing
about 200k on the straights. Pretty quick but not banzai crazy fast through the
corners. I did touch down my toes more than once or twice though and I have
noticed that the toe tread on my Rockport shoes has started to cup a bit. No
more size 15 Rockports 020’s for me. I think I’ll try some Metzlers.
up the eastside of Monashee pass has to be some of the best biking anywhere.
Coming down the west side we went past a small herd of unfenced cows feeding at
the side of the road. Kind of gave Tom the roaming cow jitters so we jittered on
down to about 160k on the straights but still maintained a good pace through the
too soon we were at the Spruce Grove Café at 56Km and we hadn’t had
ONE single bit of traffic on our side of the road! And precious little
going the other way, too. Phil roared into view 3 minutes later, transported in
his own mirage from the heat haze roiling off the big V-Twin cylinders. The
first comment from Mr. Moderation was, “You bastards are cheating--using those
motors to get away from me!”
He had flogged that Guzzi as hard as it would go, wide open down every
straightaway and as quick as he could push it through every corner. Safe to say
he holds the "not-too-silly Guzzi V1000 Needles to Spruce Grove” record!
three of us agreed it was the ride of the summer. About 5 minutes later the next
bike came by just in time for Phil to break a clutch cable, but knowing his
bike’s appetite for cables he had a spare under the seat and we were back
under way in no time. The rest of the ride seemed pretty tame after that.
–Glenn on 1990VFR Phil on 1979